Stock rises for some Horns, drops for others

Up:

Desmond Jackson
The freshman is listed as the second option at nose tackle after senior Kheeston Randall. Texas’ defensive line went through its share of struggles last year, and Jackson has proven in the offseason that he can turn things around for the line. What Jackson lacks in height (he’s 6-foot-1) he more than makes up in energy on the field. If teams run on the Longhorns like they did last season, Jackson could be in line for some serious playing time.

John Harris
Harris is another young player who really impressed over the summer. In three receiver sets he will get the nod behind Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis. He redshirted last year, so he brings a little more experience to the table. He possesses good size at 6-foot-3 and should be a valuable tool for newly appointed quarterback Garrett Gilbert.

Joe Bergeron
Big Joe is officially listed as the backup to Fozzy Whittaker at tailback, however there is an “or” differentiating Bergeron from fellow freshman Malcolm Brown and junior D.J. Monroe. Bergeron came in under the shadow of Brown, but he has really made strides and should see considerable action in the backfield. A powerful back, Bergeron also has surprising speed.

Dominique Jones/D.J. Grant
This combo has the not-so-easy task of revitalizing the tight end spot on a team that definitely felt its absence a season ago. Jones saw limited action last year after converting from defensive end, however he did notch a touchdown as a tight end. Grant also converted to tight end after being plagued by injuries in his first two seasons as a wide receiver. Both players are 6-foot-3 and have soft hands. After a dismal year for the tight end position in 2010, it is quickly becoming one of the better units on the team.

Down:

DeSean Hales
The junior has appeared in more than 20 games, but has yet to eclipse the 100-yard mark for his career. Hales is a quick, smart player but has yet to display anything of note in game situations. He is still listed as Mike Davis’ backup, but for those who knew of Hales two years ago it is surely not where he was projected to be at this stage in his career.

Connor Wood
After a four-way battle in the offseason for the starting quarterback spot, Wood finds himself in the “or” column at third string. Wood could be on the move as rumors have begun to swirl regarding a possible transfer. He’s got the talent to start at any other school, but circumstances have not lent themselves to his favor.